When Kentucky teachers declared victory after the Republican-dominated legislature overruled the veto power of the GOP governor of a spending plan that included new money for education, the question arises as to whether teachers will keep their momentum going in the autumn elections can if Republicans try to defend their super majority.
Teacher Karen Schwartz made a sign in Kentucky's Capitol state on Friday declaring "Support our schools." But it was her shoes, a comfortable pair of crocs, that had a bigger message for state legislators. "They think we get tired and go home," she said. "We will not get tired."
Teachers had had to boo the Republicans for months after making changes to the teachers' pension system. But on Friday, when the Republicans voted to cheer Gov. Picking up Matt Bevin's vetoes.
This jubilation was later subdued when Bevin rejected teachers because he had left work to protest at the Capitol, which closed more than 30 school districts in the States
"I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky that today a child was sexually molested who was left at home because no one was there to watch them, "Bevin said, according to a video that a reporter from WDRB-TV had posted on Twitter. "I guarantee you somewhere today a child was physically damaged or poisoned because they were alone at home, because a single parent did not have any money to look after them, I'm offended by the idea that people are so carefree and so reckless ignored. " What is really best for children?
A spokesman for the Kentucky Education Association declined to comment and Mary Nishimuta, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Kentucky, said that Bevin's comments "had crossed a line. As a mother, the suggestion that children have been abused as a support for his political rhetoric is disturbing and absurd. "
Thousands of teachers gathered in and out of the Capitol on Friday, and the gathering assumed a festival-like atmosphere, as did some teachers Deck chairs or blankets were lying in. Crosby Stills, Nash and Young's hit "Teach Your Children" roared from the speakers.
"I do not want to be out of my classroom. I want to be in my classroom to teach future citizens, but I'm scared State-level spending is getting worse, and we need those dollars for 21
Kentucky's biennial operating budget includes record new spending on public education driven by a 50 percent increase in cigarette tax and a 6 percent sales tax on some services, including home and car repair, but Bevin has both the budget and rejected the money it contained and described the bills as "sloppy" and "opaque." He said they would not raise enough money to cover the new expenses.
The veto put the Republican MPs in a difficult position and called for She agreed to vote a second time on a tax increase in an election year n. But 57 Republicans have been eager to maintain their independence after a turbulent year with a sexual harassment scandal.
"You can stand here all day and do what you are (education) until it's time to pay for it." Well, that's a coward, "said Regina Huff, a secondary school teacher," We have to have these revenues to finance our schools. "
Democrats sided with the governor, but for a variety of reasons, saying that the tax increase disproportionately harms the poor while benefiting the rich.They wanted the vetos and forced the governor to convene a special session of the state legislature to pass a new budget.
The house had 57-40 to lift the veto of the tax increase and 66-28 veto the budget The Republican-controlled Senate will next veto.
Bevin closely followed the debate and responded to MPs' speeches with tweets, saying he had lost the g a week with leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate to find a "more responsible way to pay 100 percent of the required education funding."
"Grilling," Bevin tweeted.
The turmoil comes amid teacher protests Oklahoma and Arizona over low funding and teacher salary. The demonstrations were inspired by teachers from West Virginia, whose nine-day strike resulted in a five percent wage increase after many years without salary increases.
In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey pledged a net 20 percent increase by 2020 after weeks of teacher protest and rampant threats across the state.
In Oklahoma, teachers ended two weeks of strikes on Thursday, shifting their focus to the election of pro-educational candidates in November. Governor Mary Fallin signed laws that increase teacher salaries by about $ 6,100 and provide millions of new education, but many say schools need more money.
Associated Press author Sean Murphy of Oklahoma City has contributed to this report.